Parliament: Licensing: Bid to ban drink for matches fails

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DRACONIAN PLANS to impose city-wide alcohol bans during big football matches and to give police "catch-all" powers of arrest have been dropped by the Government.

A Home Office review of anti-hooligan laws found widespread opposition to the proposals, although it showed strong support for bans on supporters travelling abroad and on racist chanting at games.

The review found overwhelming backing from the public and interested groups for moves to toughen up most other aspects of the law. Most of the new restrictions, particularly bans on the movement of fans who do not have football-related convictions, were included in a backbench Bill published yesterday.

Kate Hoey, Home Office minister, said the Government would support the Football (Offences and Disorder) Bill, which will also allow courts to remove passports from England supporters five days before a game. The Bill could be law in time for Euro 2000.